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January 2012: Parklands welcomes Holstein NI members

Members of Holstein NI enjoyed the recent open meeting hosted by Parklands Veterinary Group at its new 8,000sq ft facility on the outskirts of Dungannon in County Tyrone.

Upwards of 50 dairy farmers travelled from as far afield as Bushmills and Carrowdore to attend the meeting. The group was welcomed to the purpose-built complex by Ian Stewart, John Grant and Craig McAlister, partners in Parklands Veterinary Group, and practice manager David Mulligan.

Everyone was impressed with the ultra-modern building which represents years of careful planning and a significant investment by the privately-owned veterinary group. The state-of-the-art practice has been designed and built to exacting veterinary hospital standards, and is one of the most well-equipped facilities in Ireland.

The dairy farmer group was particularly interested in the milk sampling and routinework carried out by the in-house laboratory; and the basement area which features two full access cattle crushes, and is designed to handle large farm animals in a safe, secure and welfare friendly environment.

Vets John Grant and Craig McAlister demonstrated the cattle handling facilities, while Ian Stewart used a scanner and visual aids to educate the audience about the reproductive organs of bovine animals.

During the formal part of the meeting John Grant addressed the group: “The practice dates back to the mid 1950s, and over the years we have expanded into one of the largest veterinary groups in the Province, employing 20 dedicated vets with a variety of specialist disciplines.”

“Parklands Veterinary Group is owned by managed by five committed partners, and we operate 24/7 ‘fire brigade’ cover 365 days of the year. Every animal and client is important.”

Mr Grant highlighted the practice’s pro-active involvement in accreditation schemes at farm level. “It is our ultimate aim to increase routine visits and control and eradicate diseases at farm level. Northern Ireland is an intense farming area and farmers are continuously moving livestock around. I would urge all breed clubs to get their act together and work hard to eradicate diseases such as BVD at both local and national level.”

Practice manager David Mulligan outlined the various FarmSkills training courses which are conducted on a regular basis by Parklands Veterinary Group. “We have nine LANTRA-approved training providers offering a choice of 14 different  courses. “

Several of the courses available are eligible for 50% funding thanks to a number of Bursary Awards which have been secured by Parklands Veterinary Group. The eligible courses include Footcare and Lameness, Fertility and Practical AI, and Infectious Disease Control.

Many of the Holstein NI members and visitors to the open meeting were keen to avail of the FarmSkills training courses.

Veterinary surgeon Craig McAlister also demonstrated a new web-based software farm management system called VetImpress.

 Closing the meeting Holstein NI chairman proposed a vote of thanks to Parklands Veterinary Group, describing the County Tyrone-based company as a dynamic and progressive organisation. “Thanks to everyone involved in organising this meeting. It has been a truly enjoyable, educational and informative evening.”

Anyone interested in applying for a Bursary Award, or obtaining further information about the various FarmSkills Training options available from Parklands Veterinary Group should contact David Mulligan on mobile: 07836 34690

January 2012 BVD and FarmSkills training bursaries on Holstein NI agenda

Open invitation to Dungannon meeting on Tuesday, January 17

The negative impact of BVD within the dairy herd, and an overview of the various FarmSkills training courses offered by Parklands Veterinary Group, will be on the agenda at a forthcoming Holstein NI meeting.

Holstein meeting

David Mulligan, left, practice manager, Parklands Veterinary Group, and John Martin, secretary, Holstein NI, extend a warm invitation to all dairy farmers to attend the open meeting at Dungannon on Tuesday, January 17.

Holstein NI and Parklands Veterinary Group are extending a warm invitation to all dairy farmers to attend the open meeting which takes place on Tuesday, January 17 commencing at 8pm.

The meeting will be hosted by Parklands Veterinary Group at its new state-of-the-art premises on the outskirts of Dungannon . The 8,000sq ft complex is situated at 5 Old Moy Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone, BT71 6PS – just off the M1 Motorway at junction 15.

The agenda includes a tour of the new custom-built facility which was opened in October 2011, presentations on BVD and the various FarmSkills training courses offered by the Parklands Veterinary Group, and an overview of how the privately-owned County Tyrone veterinary business has expanded in recent years to meet the needs of the Province’s agricultural industry.

Holstein NI chairman Alan Cleland said: “This open meeting differs from our normal schedule, and is set to be an interesting and informative evening.  The new ultra-modern building is very impressive, and is one of the most well-equipped veterinary surgeries in Ireland, with hospitalisation facilities for small and large animals.

“On a more serious note, BVD is a complex disease in cattle which has detrimental impact on the physical and financial performance of dairy herds. The dedicated large animal vets at Parklands are heavily involved in testing at farm level to eradicate this non statutory production disease. As a club we actively encouraging farmers to safeguard their herds and protect the future of the NI dairy industry. We have recently introduced BVD testing and vaccination for all pedigree bulls sold at our officials sales.”

David Mulligan, practice manager at Parklands Veterinary Group said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Holstein NI to our Dungannon practice. The Parklands Veterinary Group dates back to the mid 1950’s, and currently employs 45 staff, 20 of which are highly training and dedicated veterinary surgeons with a variety of specialist interests including small animals, exotics, pigs, poultry, sheep, cattle and horses.

“As a dynamic and progressive practice we are committed to providing and maintaining the highest standard of clinical excellence and customer care. With practices in Dungannon and Cookstown, Parklands covers a 25-mile radius around the western side of Lough Neagh from the Armagh/Tyrone border to Omagh and Maghera.”

Almost two years ago the Parklands Veterinary Group joined XL Vets, a UK-wide group comprising of 46 privately-owned practices committed to the future of the livestock industry. Membership of XL Vets offers competitive advantages, and an opportunity for Parklands to provide it clients with a wide range of FarmSkills courses.

David Mulligan added: “These courses are designed to put the farmer first by offering practical knowledge and training to help them improve their businesses, and the health and welfare of their animals. These practical farm-based courses are delivered by a team of LANTRA-approved trainers and industry experts.

“All courses are conducted over a two-day period, and we are pleased to be able to offer members of Holstein NI an opportunity to apply for Bursary Grants which will cover 50 per cent of the course fee.”

FarmSkills training courses are available on a wide variety of topics including:

Footcare and Lameness

The modules covered include an introduction to cattle mobility and functional and practical foot trimming, as well as lameness prevention.  Trainees will learn about the anatomical features of the hoof, the four-stage Dutch foot trimming method, and the requirements surrounding the safe restraining of animals and the safe use of equipment. The common causes of foot lameness in cattle will be identified and the necessary treatments explained.

Fertility and Practical AI

This course outlines the bovine reproduction system from puberty to insemination, and pregnancy to birth, as well as the causes of infertility and the impact of infectious diseases.  Delegates will gain AI training, both practical and theoretical, and learn ways to measure fertility. They will also gain practical experience using abbatoir specimens and models.

Infectious Disease Control

This course identifies the basic principles of immunity and gives delegates an understanding of some of the methods for monitoring, eradicating and controlling disease. Potential sources of infection will be identified, and ways to minimise the risk of disease will be outlined. Specific diseases such as BVD, IBR, Lepto, Johnes and Salmonella will be highlighted, with delegates learning how to identify their presence within a herd, and adopt ways to control and safeguard against them.

Concluding Holstein NI chairman Alan Cleland said:”The Parklands Veterinary Group is playing a key role in providing on-farm training and promoting preventative healthcare measures for livestock producers in Northern Ireland. “

Anyone interested in attending the meeting should register on or before Monday, January 16, by contacting Iona at Parklands Veterinary Group on tel: 028 8772 9671. Alternatively email: parklandsvets@hotmail.com. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Click here to download an application form for a Bursary Grant for one of the FarmSkills training courses.

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Veterinary surgeons John Grant, left, and Ian Stewart, welcome Alan Cleland, chairman, and Jay Warden, vice-chairman, Holstein NI, to the Parklands Veterinary Group at Dungannon.

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Martin Millar and Adam Watson, Coleraine, pictured with David Mulligan, practice manager, Parklands Veterinary Group

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John and Matthew McLean, Bushmills, attended the Holstein NI meeting hosted by Parklands Veterinary Group

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David Mulligan, practice manager, Parklands Veterinary Group, welcomes Holstein NI members Gaston and John Wallace, Nutt's Corner.

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Vet Craig McAlister demonstrates the state-of-the-art cattle handling facilities to members of Holstein NI during their visit to Parklands Veterinary Group, Dungannon

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Vet James McClory addresses members of Holstein NI during their tour of the new facilitie

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Dairy farmers pictured at the Holstein NI open meeting, hosted by Parklands Veterinary Group, Dungannon.

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Members of Holstein NI who visited Parklands Veterinary Group, Dungannon.

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Veterinary surgeon Ian Stewart addresses members of Holstein NI during their visit to Parklands Veterinary Group, Dungannon.

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Neal Pepper, Harold Stevenson and Adam Watson were among the large crowd who attended the Holstein NI open meeting

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Dairy Farmer of the Year Reggie Lilburn, Dromore, chats to Parklands vet John Grant.

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Alan Wallace, Antrim, and Ian McKnight, Drumbo, during the Holstein NI meeting in Dungannon.

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Holstein breeders Andrew and Barry McLean, Donaghmore.

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Dairy farmer Michael McVerry, Whitecross, chats to practice manager David Mulligan.


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